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Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014, 1:00 a.m.

Boots are the first symptom of this year’s clothing virus

Every once in a while, a kids outfit from Costco goes viral. You see it everywhere you go. Grandmas buy duplicates by accident because the garment is so darn cute and such a good deal.

Two years ago, it was the T-shirt tutu dress. You’d probably recognize it if you saw it because you probably looked at it 100 times. It was business on the top and ballerina fabulous on the bottom. I only wish I looked that good in sparkles.

Right now, the trend is pink sheepskin boots. Preschoolers don’t know this, but the teenagers call them Fuggs, as in fake Ugg boots.

Almost every little girl I know owns a pair. They sit on the carpet in school, adjusting sheepskin for maximum fashion impact. Should the tops be rolled down or kept high? The lone girl who wears purple gets shunned.

“Come on, Mommy. How could you not predict that everyone else was going to choose pink instead of purple? What were you thinking!”

Costco fashion trends can also cause problems on the slopes. The kiddie ski jackets they sell are such a screaming good deal, they are impossible to resist. But when you go to the mountains, everywhere you look you see the same coat.

“Is that my child in the red jacket? No, yes, maybe … it’s hard to tell. Wait! Is that even his coat or did he accidentally switch it with somebody at school? I’d better check the label.”

This past December when we were in Leavenworth, I counted four girls wearing the same three-in-one reversible pink jacket. Your daughter might have one just like it, hanging in your coat closet.

With the exception of jackets, boys are usually immune to the Costco clothing virus. Perhaps it’s because boys apparel in general isn’t as cute, or maybe it’s because the only really good deal they have is the Adidas tracksuit, which sells for less than the price of a pair of pants at a department store.

The tracksuit is sportswear-meets-Florida-retiree, which just doesn’t ring the darling meter like girls’ clothes do. Maybe if the kid was driving an RV it would be different …

What about moms, you ask? Do they ever succumb to the Costco clothing virus? I’ve got three words for you: Hunter rain boots. Don’t bother shopping for them now (unless you’re an elf), because they only have size 6 left.

The scary thing is that the Costco clothing virus continues to spread like that winter bug you just can’t shake. Two years later, when you think you’ve seen the last tutu dress, they start coming back en masse via hand-me-downs. Add some Hannah Anderson leggings, Fuggs and a reversible pink ski coat, and the ensemble is complete.

Thank you, Costco, for infecting us all.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

Story tags » FashionParenting

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